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Friends, I'm going to tell you of the great mysterious continent of Africa. From the day of our arrival we led an active life. We entered, accompanied by freezers of expensive steak. Unearthly chords were immersed in shadows. The girls, impatient as a lounge, ceaselessly bursting and raving, replaced the chapters we remembered as showtunes, brown eyes and bobbed heads emitting little monologues and mossy tunes on which birds perched. I lay on the bowsprit, facing astern, with the water foaming into spume under me, or spinning on ice involuntarily, shouted truths about length. One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got into my pajamas I'll never know. This was, after all, a landing, not an impact. A transit crane stretched across the sweep of the ethereal waterfall like the demeanor of an imperial city. Africa became a communion, a milk. If I love you, what business is it of yours? Some say that gleams of a remoter world are still transmitting from the surface of a goldfish. Such insights nibble the silica, and bulge into Belgium. I was chilled, so cold I dreamed of the void. With its rockets firing, an American spacecraft floated toward Eros. The everlasting universe of things flowed through the mind, rolling its rapid waves, interrupted only briefly during the bounce of a basketball, a loud, lone sound, like the pure white colour of brioche in this little box of dramatic haze, and came to rest against a wall of complementary angles. Some phantom, some faint image of morning saw me up at six. I became drunk with beauty, of pectorals and commotion, moose, elks, and Dorset Horns. In less than an hour, aircraft from here will join others from around the world, beached beneath the shadow of the public restroom. Even the rumpled brass of their innocence—wonderful, bold, courageous, brilliant—suggests guilt is the proper response to the submarine. The sooner you all send in your revisions the sooner will mankind learn unity. Mankind... that word should have new meaning for all of us today. It is more than the unsculptured image of a kiss reeking of naval jelly and bad hairstyles. Visit the soul in sleep and the singing rhythm of it will declare itself to be a microbus, not a thatch. Thought residue sparkles translucent before a sensation of rock, and for a moment I lose myself. Tonight the hopes and dreams of an entire planet will burst through these dark mountains like the flame of a flashlight wrapped all in its own deep eternity. As two lovers at the ends of a wishbone rock back and forth in a swoon of rapture, speechless as moonlight in the high dim-starred sky, we exchange letters and syllogies, hoping for ultima Thule. Mont Blanc appears, drawn up in precise statements of pros and cons, piercing the infinite sky. Then the moment of ecstatic freedom comes. I dissolve in the sea, become white sails and flying spray, an igloo or stagecoach, a clink in the interpretation of gills. Perhaps it's fate. Today is Valentine's Day. The dog is an altar and the mangos are saturated with mango-ness. We will not go quietly into the night. We're going to live on. We're going to survive. Think of aspirin as a contract, still, snowy, serene. Medicine, law, business. Marianne Faithful with purple hair. A giant brood of pines. I feel as in a trance sublime and strange, a woman and a man at the same time. Your conscience has a face, blurred and fibrous, clever and flexible enough to keep people involved. Green seaweed anchored to a rock. By placing navy blue throw rugs under the windows I can sway in the tide or float on an asteroid named for the Greek god of love, now reflecting gloom, now lending splendour. In such manner you can capture perfectly why other colours seem to dance like a saint's vision of beatitude. You may learn to savor words and languages, a legion of wild thoughts, come to a featherlight touchdown on Eros. Unfathomable deeps appear, rippling and weightless, like the veil of things as they seem, drawn back by an unseen hand. I want to drink their odours. For a second you see, and seeing the secret, are the secret. We are each other's letters, solar panels pointed at the sun, holes in the eiderdown driven from steep to steep. Life exists, yes, and identity, though it is elastic. I change my name every spring. It was a great mistake my being a man. I would have been much more successful as a seagull or fish. A controlled crash, not a soft landing. No matter what anyone tells you, words and ideas can change the world. Match the configuration of dots and angles and for a second there is meaning, a fire poker, a reflection in crystal, ghastly, scarred, and riven, where waterfalls leap around it forever. As it is, I will always be a stranger who never feels at home, who does not really want and is not really wanted, who can never belong, who must always be a little in love with death, spiraling downward, snapping photos of Eros, where woods and winds contend. All seems eternal now, an old and solemn harmony, like a vast river flowing blue as the overhanging heaven, as in a children's book.




of africa